The all-American phenomenon that is Storm Large came to her first Australian performance as somewhat of an unknown. Many of us had seen the words of advertisement strung together – “Six-foot Vargas Cabaret Punk Pin-Up” – and been intrigued enough to get tickets. I don’t think anyone expected all that we got. When Storm strode off stage after an hour of power, the elderly lady sharing our table commented – “She is exhausting!” But in the most satisfying way.
Following some late night YouTubing, I discovered Storm’s American popularity, especially after appearing on the show Rock Star Supernova – a typically Hollywood offering of Rock’n’Roll – where she performed to moshing, screaming, adoring crowds of thousands. So, given the nature of a rather quiet and well-behaved crowd of only 100, she was surprisingly unfazed. She brought her Largess, her Sound and her Sex to the small Adelaide stage and rocked us to the core.
Her show is brilliantly strung together by the narrative of her life spent trying not to turn out like her crazy mother. Then, somewhere along the line, she accepted it. She’s crazy. Just crazy enough to love what she does with her life – and crazy awesome. At 13, she discovered sex as power, and has had men on their knees ever since. Even her enormous voice is cowed by her sexuality. The way she moves screams of sex of the sweatiest, most exhausting, hottest kind. No gentle, submitting femininity here – just lanky limbs going all directions and a copious serving of cleavage.
Normally one to love a front row seat, being so close to her spread legs and bouncing body made me wish I was hidden in a corner, secretly enjoying her oozing sexiness. Storm Large slams against the walls of socially accepted sexual behaviours and hurtles through them, leaving the rest of us behind, awkwardly struggling through the rubble of our status quo. And this is her genius.
Her original songs are the standout in her show, especially “Ladylike” and “8 Miles Wide”. She sings with a power and a “screw you” attitude that is forceful yet still adorable. She somehow managed to take a hundred strangers on a date, and made each of us fall in love. Her in-your-face honesty makes this Way Too Gorgeous creature something far beyond the average rock-chick, the average pin-up, just so far from the average anything that you forget your expectations of the norm. She redefines the world to suit herself and infects us with her spunky, carnal delight in being a physical creature with sensations, desires and delights.
The audience left the Space Theatre universally humming “My vagina is eight miles wide, absolutely everyone come inside”, men and women, young and old, all singing tribute to Storm Large and her insatiable spirit.
2011 Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Venue: Space Theatre
Dates: 23 – 25 June, 2011
Times: 9:15pm (23) & 9:30pm (24 & 25)
Duration: 1 Hour